26th January is ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Day …

955 thoughts on “26th January is ? ? ? ? ? ? ? Day …

  1. On religion…….

    “I was walking across a bridge one day, and I saw a man standing on the edge, about to jump off. So I ran over and said ‘Stop! don’t do it!’
    ‘Why shouldn’t I?’ he said.
    I said, ‘Well, there’s so much to live for!’
    He said, ‘Like what?’
    I said, ‘Well…are you religious or atheist?’
    He said, ‘Religious.’
    I said, ‘Me too! Are you Christian or Buddhist?’
    He said, ‘Christian.’
    I said, ‘Me too! Are you Catholic or Protestant?’
    He said, ‘Protestant.’
    I said, ‘Me too! Are you Episcopalian or Baptist?’
    He said, ‘Baptist!’
    I said, ‘Wow! Me too! Are you Baptist church of god or Baptist church of the lord?’
    He said, ‘Baptist church of god!’
    I said, ‘Me too! Are you original Baptist church of god, or are you reformed Baptist church of god?’
    He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god!’
    I said, ‘Me too! Are you reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1879, or reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915?’
    He said, ‘Reformed Baptist church of god, reformation of 1915!’
    I said, ‘Die, heretic scum,’ and pushed him off.”

  2. Nationals numbers have some in party feeling numb
    By Ben Packham Political Reporter
    24 minutes ago February 7, 2019

    Internal Nationals polling shows the party will struggle to hold the regional NSW seats of Cowper and Page at the federal election, and party leader ­Michael McCormack is virtually unknown to voters and poorly rated by those who are aware of him.

    Polling conducted for the party in NSW before Christmas confirmed fears that Cowper — being vacated by Luke Hartsuyker — was at risk of falling to independent candidate Rob Oakeshott, while Kevin Hogan was under siege in Page.

    The pollsters found Mr ­McCormack, who replaced Barnaby Joyce as Nationals leader and Deputy Prime Minister nearly 12 months ago, was “near invisible” to voters, but those who had heard of him were more likely to be ­dissatisfied with his performance.

    The polling has shocked the Nationals and underlines the challenge faced by Scott Morrison at the election, with the Coalition headed for opposition if it loses just one seat.

    It is understood Mr Oakeshott, the former member for Lyne who backed Julia Gillard’s minority government in 2010, tested well among conservatives and swinging voters against local Nationals candidate Patrick Conaghan.

    Mr McCormack declined to comment on the research, while party officials said Mr Hogan and Mr Conaghan would run strong grassroots campaigns and be competitive on election day.

    One party source said the prospect of Mr Oakeshott returning to parliament would cause the voters of Cowper to think twice.

    “Oakeshott has a name but everyone knows he backs Labor, and that’s not something that will sit well with the retirees of Port Macquarie,” the official said.

    Mr Hogan, who declared himself an “independent Nationals MP” after Peter Dutton’s unsuccessful challenge against Malcolm Turnbull, will face his biggest challenge from Labor’s candidate for Page, Patrick Deegan, a social worker from Casino.

    Mr Deegan said there was a “mood for change” and a “definite frustration with the Nationals in the seat”.

    The polling has been widely discussed among Nationals MPs ahead of parliament resuming next week. “As we get closer, it will be everyone in the lifeboats and every man and woman for themselves,” one MP said.

    “I think the numbers would indicate the vote is very soft, so wherever those votes harden to will determine the outcome of the election, which is why everyone is on the ground now,” one MP said.

    Mr McCormack has received criticism among some colleagues who say he has failed to differentiate the Nationals from the Liberal Party.

    • This shows just how dumb the Nats are –

      One party source said the prospect of Mr Oakeshott returning to parliament would cause the voters of Cowper to think twice.

      “Oakeshott has a name but everyone knows he backs Labor, and that’s not something that will sit well with the retirees of Port Macquarie,” the official said

      The retirees of Port Macquarie? Pffft. That’s not the entire electorate. That one ill-informed comment probably cost the Nats a stack of votes from the rest of Cowper.

      That alleged “source” clearly doesn’t live up this way, if he/she actually exists at all. Doesn’t he/she know there was a redistribution here in 2016 that moved Port Macquarie into Cowper (where it used to be, until around 2000) and that changed the makeup of both electorates. Cowper now leans more towards independents and Labor than it did when Port Macquarie was the centre of Lyne, and Lyne is now much more safe National than it used to be.

      Cowper includes two major towns – Coffs Harbour and Port Macquarie – plus other largish towns like Bellingen and Kempsey. The AEC says –

      Cowper covers an area from Port Macquarie in the south to Coffs Harbour in the north. The main towns include Bellingen, Bowraville, Coffs Harbour, Crescent Head, Dorrigo, Gladstone, Hat Head, Kempsey, Macksville, Nambucca Heads, Sawtell, South West Rocks, Port Macquarie, Ulong and Urunga


      Port Macquarie is right at the southern end of Cowper, just a minor part of the overall picture.

      Retirees are a large part of the population on the mid-north coast and despite what the Nats think many of them seem to like Oakeshott. We get a lot of city people moving up here to retire. They usually voted Liberal in Sydney, but aren’t always happy about having to vote Nats here if they want to vote conservative. Oakeshott used to be a good alternative for them and will be this election.

      Retirees formed the backbone of his campaigns and they did not all live in Port Macquarie, which was the centre of the electorate back then.

      The thing is Rob attracted votes from both sides of politics. When he ran both the Nats and Labor votes dropped as voters flocked to him.

      Over his time in both state and federal politics he gained a reputation for working hard for his electorate. The things he achieved during the Rudd/Gillard years are very visible today – a full size uni campus in Port Macquarie,, still growing, huge hospital extensions in Port Macquarie, Kempsey and Taree, accelerated work on the Pacific Highway, airport expansions and much more. When voters here compare that record to years of nothing from Luke Hartsuyker they realise what a difference a hard-working independent can make. Hartsuyker came close to losing to a Labor candidate in 2007, only around 2000 votes separated the two candidates, 2PP, which was a phenomenal result for presumed Nats heartland. In the same year Mark Vaile’s vote dropped in Lyne. Unable to bear being in opposition Vaile retired the next year and Oakeshott sailed in as his replacement, not even needing preferences to win.

      The coming election is an excellent chance for Rob. Not only is the government on the nose even up here in Nats heartland but Hartsuyker is retiring and the replacement Nats candidate is an ex-cop turned solicitor who hardly anyone has heard of before.

      Oakeshott (and Windsor) went with Julia Gillard in 2010 for these reasons – Labor’s NBN, climate change, and a crisis in education in regional Australia, which had been neglected. Oakeshott also believed a Labor minority government would be more stable than a Coalition one and would be less likely to rush to the polls for a “mandate” within the first year in office. Oakeshott and Abbott had been good friends, but that wasn’t enough to convince him Abbott would make the better PM.

    • I think it would have been based only on local polling.

      I had a robo-poll about Cowper, very obviously from the Nats, a couple of weeks ago. No questions about Barnaby, just about the Cowper candidates. There have been a few robo-polls on the same subject lately, according to my friends, so it’s obvious the Nats are very worried about losing both Cowper and Page.

      I assume the residents in Page also had a few robo-polls about their electorate. Page swings between the Nats and Labor, it’s pretty much a bellwether seat and should go back to Labor this election.

  3. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    According to Sarah Danckert National Australia Bank’s leadership crisis has sparked fresh calls from the federal opposition and governance advisers to argue for broader change.
    Clancy Yeates reviews Ken Henry’s appearance on 7:30 last night.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz says that the end was inevitable after the NAB duo annoyed royal commissioner Ken Hayne.
    The Australian tells us how the deed was done.
    And Adam Creighton says the rest of the nation’s bank chairmen and executives would have counted themselves lucky last night.
    The AFR explains how NAB has been the worst performing big four bank for a good reason. It has had a succession of chief executives who have failed to deliver what was promised.
    Meanwhile police have frozen nearly $8 million in assets owned by the former chief of staff to outgoing National Australia Bank boss Andrew Thorburn including a $1 million NAB bank cheque as part of its investigation into an alleged fraud inside the bank.
    Phil Coorey looks at how Labor will fight the election on the basis of taxation policy.
    Tony Wright is unimpressed with a number of government MPs and what they are getting away with.
    Eryk Bagshaw continues his good work on exposing Tim Wilson’s sham “inquiry” into Labor’s franking credits policy.
    Emma Dawson describes the current imputation cash refund system as, essentially, a reverse death duty with low and middle-income earners subsidizing the estates of the very wealthy.
    Jenna Price tells us why Tim Wilson must resign.
    Shane Wright explains how the royal commission report has rained on Morrison’s election parade.
    Stephen Bartholomeusz examines AMP’s future in the wake of the royal commission.
    Sam Maiden reports that Home Affairs secretary Mike Pezzullo has sensationally ordered a police investigation into the leak of a classified ASIO briefing on asylum seekers – and the probe will be asked to consider whether it was the Morrison government that broke the law.
    Anna Patty reports that the national union movement has offered an olive branch to business, calling for a better relationship to build a stronger wages system “that works for everyone”.
    Greg Jericho writes that an interest rate cut might be coming and tell us why the reason is rather scary.
    Nick Miller reports that Theresa May’s hotly-anticipated Brexit crisis talks in Brussels look likely to see her return empty-handed, as both sides have stuck to their guns while the clock ticks down to a potentially chaotic and costly ‘no-deal’ Brexit.
    Victoria Police are drawing up emergency plans to protect five new secret informers uncovered by the royal commission amid concerns about their safety if their identities are exposed.
    Andy Marks looks at political life in NSW with Mark Latham certain to take a seat in the upper house.
    Dave Donovan writes that the Government’s strategy to win the unwinnable election was laid out plainly this week, when Nine-Fairfax splashed a puff piece, saying ‘Morrison ready to fight dirty’.
    Katharine Murphy writes on how Morrison and Shorten are locked in a stand-off over the medical transfers bill.
    This human rights lawyer says that Australia can’t be allowed to play politics with refugees’ lives any more.
    Michelle Grattan writes that the battle over the medical transfers legislation has become something of a thriller for political tragics. She says that in the event Labor holds firm, all eyes will be on independent Cathy McGowan, the crossbencher whose vote is still a question mark.
    Asylum seekers and refugees are waiting as long as five years for specialist medical treatment even when it has been formally recommended by the Australian government’s contracted doctors, new data has revealed.
    Dr Binoy Kampmark takes a look at the good, bad and politically ugly side of the Townsville flooding disaster.
    Oh oh! Here’s some dirt that might hurt Michael Daley.
    Sam Maiden reports that a self-described “idiot” minister in the Morrison government who sparked a formal complaint after hugging a female defence officer faces a fresh scandal over whether he has failed to declare his extensive property portfolio to Parliament. Good effort Scotty!
    The John Curtin Research Centre’s Nick Dyrenfurth goes into why it’s past time for us to change the way our jobs and employment statistics are determined.
    Peter Hannam tells us that there seems to be a change of direction with the Nationals when it comes to climate change.
    A new level of cyber crime has the ability to steal thousands of dollars from victims in a matter of hours – and all the thief needs is your mobile phone number. Security experts have urged banks to move away from text message identity authentication, as online criminals increasingly expose a vulnerability in phone number retrieval systems.
    Christopher Knaus reports that the NSW Liberals accepted pre-election donations from a figure who worked under billionaire donor Huang Xiangmo at a Chinese Communist Party-linked group.
    The mayors of three Sydney councils have seized on a “farcical” community consultation process to launch a fresh attack on plans to raze Allianz Stadium, weeks before hard demolition works begin.
    John McDuling writes that all of a sudden, Microsoft has become one of the few adults in the tech industry, as other players such as Facebook lurch like toddlers from one disaster to another.
    This is not good. Only 51 child sex abuse survivors have received a payout under the National Redress Scheme since its launch seven months ago, a figure survivors say is “pitiful” after 2700 applications.
    New research finds Australia is installing renewable energy faster than any other country, a trend that will allow Australia to meet its economy-wide Paris targets five years ahead of schedule if politics doesn’t derail the trend, according to new research from the Australian National University.
    The SMH editorial says that Trump’s speech lacked global vision.
    Fergus Hunter reports that Business groups are pushing for a federal takeover of the troubled vocational education and training sector in a historic reshaping that would likely face resistance from some state governments.
    What’s this obsession with ‘national security’? Let’s talk about the climate emergency and the complicity of the powerful, writes Dr Richard Hil.
    Trump has hit out at Democrats in Congress for launching a blizzard of investigations into his administration and business dealings, saying his political opponents had gone “nuts” and were pursuing a strategy of “presidential harassment”. He’s going to have to suck it up methinks.
    The US state of Virginia is in chaos as its three top politicians remain under siege in separate scandals.

    Cartoon Corner

    Two beauties from David Rowe.

    David Pope looks a the trouble Morrison is in.

    Cathy Wilcox visits the Uber Tuber.

    John Shakespeare and Liberal pre-selections and Gladys’s stadium problem.

    From Matt Golding.

    Sean Leahy and a scare for Morrison.

    Jon Kudelka sees Ken Henry in retirement.

    From the US.

  4. This is very good news.

    Court rules out Hunter Valley coalmine on climate change grounds
    Judge rejects Rocky Hill mine near Gloucester, NSW, because of its impact on the town and ‘dire consequences’ of increasing emissions

    I don’t know how many of you are familiar with Gloucester. It’s a beautiful place, it does not deserve to be ruined by an open-cut coal mine.

  5. A long NYT article for those who moan about “music these days”…………….seems you do have some justification 🙂

    They Really Don’t Make Music Like They Used To

    ……………………… Compression boosts the quieter parts and tamps down louder ones to create a narrower range. Historically, compression was usually applied during the mastering stage, the final steps through which a finished recording becomes a commercial release.

    In the predigital era, compression required a mastering engineer ……….

    • I don’t listen to RN, but the Twitterverse tells me Frydenberg was – as usual – telling huge porkies by saying Tim Wilson has followed the rules with his shoddy little inquiry.

      Not according to Eryk Bagshaw, he hasn’t. (BK’s links this morning)

  6. Gladys is an absolute dill, and a desperate one. She’s now trying blackmail to win votes.

    Her obsession with stadiums is also showing up again.

    The voters of Orange can only have a new sports complex, but only if they elect the Nats candidate because Gladys wants the seat back from the Shooters and Fishers.

    Premier accused of ‘blackmailing’ electorate with $25 million sports precinct

    Does she realise Orange is not the only town in that electorate? Seems not.

  7. Bill Shorten’s latest video – today in Banks, in Sydney’s south, currently held by David Coleman for the Libs.

    Banks is a very multi-cultural electorate. Smart move by Labor to choose a man whose parents migrated from India.

    Until the 2016 redistribution Banks was safe Labor. Here’s hoping it swings back to Labor this election.

    • LeoneTwo, I don’t have a Facebook account, but I suspect that is where these videos are?

      I was impressed by Mr Shorten when he came to a local “Town Hall”, but I worry that his current (MSM advertised) positions may be less than what were indicated in person. I understand the concept of the ‘long game’, I’m just not sure how comfortable I am should Mr Shorten and some of his conservative union backers give in to the apparently hysterical ‘security’ arguments of the Home Affairs Department.

    • Yes, Facebook. These videos are delivered live, then remain on the page indefinitely.

      I get the impression the MSM are trying to force Shorten to back down on the medical transfers issue so they can then accuse him of backflipping.

      It won’t work. If Shorten makes a comment about not being “a purist”, whatever that means, then he’s playing with the media.

  8. Y’all a bunch of ingrates.
    COSBOA has called on workers to be grateful for what they have.

    “So step back and say: ‘OK, am I happy with what I’ve got and will it help me live the lifestyle I’m used to? Am I happy with that? And if I am, as much as I’d like more money, I should be happy that I’ve got a job’,” Mr Strong argued.


    • Blatant class discrimination, blatant “bosses versus workers” stuff. The workers are just there to be paid as little as possible for their work while the bosses whine about not being able to afford to take the kids to Disneyland this year.

      I’m waiting for one of these gumbies to propose using prisoners as forced labor, to save them the expense of paying staff.

    • If he can afford to give that much to a charity he doesn’t need a handout.

      That line has been doing the rounds for a while and I’m questioning it’s validity.

      The Queensland branch of the Cancer Council did send out a statement where they claimed two anonymous donors has donated millions and $0.6 million respectively to the CC over several years and said those donations would stop when Labor won government. The national branch then slapped down the Queensland branch.

      Now every time some greedy old fart starts talking about cutting donations to charity I become very skeptical. I think there are a lot of people making false claims.

  9. North Shore retirees, Liberal voters to a man and to a woman, so this is a very empty threat –

    Over two hours of three-minute speeches, only one person spoke in favour of Labor’s policy, while dozens said they would not vote Labor at the expected May election because of the dividend imputation policy.

    Several speakers mistakenly argued union super funds would be excluded from the new policy, although the pooled structure of those funds means the impact on them will be reduced.

    One attendee, John Graham, noted the older demographic in the room but said the effects of the franking credit crackdown would go well beyond Australia’s 200,000 self-managed super funds, and would affect his own four adult children.

    “This isn’t just an attack on us. This is an attack on our families and our grandchildren,” he said to sustained applause from the crowd. “Beware the fighting 800,000.”


    Has any journalist bothered to look at how many votes Labor stands to win on this issue? I’m thinking it will be many more than the alleged 800,000 who have most likely never voted Labor anyway and never will.. They won’t mention that little problem, of course, they are all too busy propping up FauxMo.

  10. Labor has asked the Australian federal police to investigate whether Tim Wilson inappropriately shared electoral roll information for commercial purposes while campaigning against the opposition’s franking credit policy.

    The referral was based on a Fairfax Media report that a constituent of Wilson’s received material both from the Liberal MP and from Wilson Asset Management, the funds management company chaired by Geoff Wilson, after responding to a robopoll.

    Tim Wilson, who chairs the House economics committe, has denied any wrongdoing, telling Guardian Australia he had “not shared any voter’s private information from the electoral roll with [Wilson Asset Management]”.

    Labor has argued that Geoff Wilson and Tim Wilson – who are first-cousins once-removed – have inappropriately politicised the parliamentary inquiry into Labor’s franking credit policy by coordinating committee meetings with Wilson Asset Management roadshows.

    The Fairfax Media report quoted a resident of Brighton, Gwen Woodford, who said she had answered “yes” to a robocall from Tim Wilson, and later received “multiple emails promoting Wilson Asset Management funds”.


  11. Denise Shrivell, brave woman that she is, filmed the whole Chatswood meeting this morning. If you have the time to spare, and can stand the whinging, give it a look.

    Then Denise went on to the Bondi meeting. Find her posts on Twitter for that.

    Something I took from the two meetings was the small attendance at each. I expected hundreds of angry retirees, instead there were only a few dozen at each.

    Maybe this isn’t the vote-winning, Shorten-destroying issue the Libs believe it is.

    Timmy’s corrupt conduct won’t be helping.

  12. Treasurer Josh Frydenberg told RN Breakfast this morning that Wilson had complied with all the rules. But at a midday press conference, the deputy chair of the inquiry, Labor’s Matt Thistlethwaite, announced: “We definitely believe that he’s breached some of the standing orders in relation to disclosures. Tim Wilson never disclosed, before Wilson Asset Management appeared before our committee, that he was a shareholder in that particular company. Now we believe that that may be a breach of the parliamentary standing orders, and we now have evidence that Tim Wilson may have handed over people’s personal data to Wilson Asset Management, after they’d signed the website, in agreeing to provide a submission to the economics committee. That may be a breach of Australia’s electoral laws, and in that respect I’ve written to the AFP commissioner and asked him to investigate that.”


  13. The fund manager Geoff Wilson has admitted to part-funding the website through which the Liberal MP Tim Wilson has coordinated opposition to Labor’s franking credit policy, while chairing an inquiry into it.

    Late on Friday Geoff Wilson issued a statement clarifying his involvement in stoptheretirementtax.com.au, after a growing controversy over whether the pair – who are first cousins once-removed – have inappropriately politicised the parliamentary inquiry.


  14. Good morning Dawn Patrollers.

    Wow! Today’s MUST READ is Jack Waterford’s contribution in which he points the finger squarely at Coalition governments since 2013 for much of the badness exposed by the banking royal commission.
    In similar vein Peter Hartcher writes about the exquisite irony of pollies condemning bankers.
    And John Wren looks at corruption within the LNP, not just among individuals but also how the Banking Royal Commission was affected.
    Paul Bongiorno declares that we have entered the beginning of the end game.
    The Reserve Bank has cut key economic forecasts as risks to the Australian and global economies increase and the odds of an interest rate cut rise, threatening the outlook of Treasurer Josh Frydenberg’s first budget.
    The RBA is becoming more anxious that an accelerating property market downturn could derail household spending and business investment just as risks from a global slowdown are on the rise.
    The Australian does the government’s bidding again as it says taxpayers face a bill of at least $1.4bn to reopen the Christmas Island detention centre under a Labor-backed plan.
    Mike Seccombe says that the Phelps fight reveals the Morrison government’s Nauru deceit.
    An article that was recently published in The Australian has unfairly criticised campaign organisation GetUp!, writes Dr Steven Hail.
    Paula Matthewson says that even by the Coalition’s stumblebum standards, this was a bad week.
    Laura Tingle says that with the banking royal commission and boats it’s going to be a wild few weeks in Canberra.
    NSW Labor says a decision by the Land and Environment Court to factor in the impacts of climate change when considering whether to approve a coal mine was “potentially extremely important” for future planning.
    Michael Koziol goes on the road with Tim Wilson’s sham inquiry.
    Julia Baird proposes a different sort of MP quota – one for mediocre men!
    Ross Gittins pooh poohs the calls for an interest rate cut. He says the biggest risk we face is talking ourselves into a downturn – for no better reason than it would be something new to talk about.
    Daniel Moss explains why Australia’s economy is not a freak of nature.
    Kevin Rudd reminds us of the good Ken Henry did before going to the NAB. It really is worth reading in full.
    Karen Middleton writes that in the wake of the Hayne royal commission, the big banks’ share prices rose, raising questions of how much the culture of greed is threatened by its recommendations.
    The AFR goes inside the horror week of the NAB.
    Jess Irvine explains the rise and fall of Ken Henry and how the smartest guy in the room came undone.
    Ros Meyer says that vertical integration will keep the banks growing and gouging.
    Ebony Bennett opines that it’s time to rein in CEO pay to curtail the banks’ culture of greed.
    Elizabeth Knight wonders if, following years of addiction to profits, banks can actually change their culture.
    Mortgage brokers cracked open the bank monopoly in the 1980s and then went on a three decade tear. Kenneth Hayne threatens to ruin the party.
    Paul Kelly writes that we should expect a long term fallout from the banking royal commission report.
    Ben Butler reports that Hayne discussed criminal prosecutions of AMP, CBA and NAB with the corporate regulator.
    Eryk Bagshaw writes that Labor has referred Tim Wilson to police over claims he shared voter details with a fund manager.
    Paul Karp also writes about the fact that the fund manager Geoff Wilson has admitted to part-funding the website through which the Liberal MP Tim Wilson has coordinated opposition to Labor’s franking credit policy, while chairing an inquiry into it.
    Michael Pascoe has a confession to make: For a quarter of a century it was his job to provide daily financial market reports of one kind or another. Like all other daily financial markets reports, they were mostly rubbish, he says.
    The resignation of Greens stalwart Alex Bhathal has again shone a spotlight on the party’s infighting and dysfunction.
    Are former PM John Howard’s ill-gotten Kyoto credits about to be played out again? Experts ridicule PM Morrison’s claim that his government will meet its Paris target “in a canter”. Will he resort to the poisoned chalice of Howard’s land clearing fiddle and risk global condemnation? Sandi Keane takes us back to Howard’s 1997 Kyoto conjuring trick to remind the punters how they were conned.
    A sophisticated attack on the federal parliament’s computer network could be motivated to acquire “dirt” on an MP or staffer or influence political processes in the lead up to the national election, according to a cyber-security expert.
    David Crowe reports that migrants will have their visas cancelled if they leave designated areas under one of the first stages of the government’s $19 million population package. What could possibly go wrong?
    The Queensland government has announced an inquiry into the historic flooding in Townsville, as evidence mounts that local authorities failed to anticipate the extreme nature of the recent record rainfall. Up to 300000 cattle are thought to have died.
    AGL investors are paying the price as the country’s highest-profile utility tries to balance its profits with government pressure to cut power prices.
    Clementine Ford writes about the demise of independent media.
    A former New South Wales judge has warned that prosecutors are so hesitant to take on corruption cases they should not be relied upon by a federal integrity commission to take criminal proceedings to court. He says the DPP is more concerned with ‘end-of-year statistics’ and avoids complex cases.
    Lawyer Josh Bornstein explains how the law is lagging the immense power of the world’s largest oligopolies to plunder our privacy and shape our lives.
    Michaela Whitbourn reports that Margaret Cunneen will be acting for the defence in the upcoming marathon Obeid, Macdonald trial.
    Health researcher Dr Sebastian Rosenberg writes that the latest mental health productivity data reveals scale of reform that must lie ahead.
    The former Anglican archbishop Roger Herft spent almost half a million dollars for his legal representation before the child sexual abuse royal commission without proper authorisation from the diocese of Perth, which has not asked him to reimburse the money. At the hearings he came across as a real piece of work.
    Elizabeth Farrelly warns that it’s only a matter of time until a high-rise disaster strikes again in Sydney. She makes some telling points on how things have changed with respect to safety standards and compliance.
    Architecture lecturer Geoff Hanmer says that cladding fire risks have been known for years. Lives depend on acting now, with no more delays.
    The Age reports that Australia’s building ministers have agreed in principle to ban dangerous flammable cladding after a fire tore through a residential apartment building in Melbourne this week.
    Wendy Squires wonders why women’s nipples are still regarded as obscene.
    Professor Mark Crosby writes that Frydenberg is wrong to support Ivanka and Donald Trump on the World Bank. It’d be better to let it die.
    A Victorian country cop helped spark an operation that led to the seizure of $1.3 billion worth of drugs in the US.
    Peter FitzSimons on the role of alcohol in the NRL and he writes on Darren Weir’s fall from grace and the lack of action by the industry.

    Kate Aubusson tells us how sexual harassment, bullying and a contempt for motherhood are driving aspiring female surgeons out of operating theatres. Some of these surgeons qualify for “Arseholes of the Week” nomination.

    Cartoon Corner

    David Rowe and Tim Wilson’s crusade.

    David Pope takes grossness to a new level here!

    Alan Moir and the bankers.

    A cracker form Mark David.

    From Matt Golding.

    Andre Dyson and a political jigger.

    Glen Le Lievre.

    Sean Leahy and online funerals.

    Jon Kudelka drops in on the political donations department.

    From the US

  15. BK
    I think it generally works the other way around.

    The Australian does the government’s bidding again

  16. Given that The Fridge is on a period of WorkCover leave from its teaching job , this article about the ‘dynamic environment ‘ of schools and the cost of keeping teaching staff well is prescient.
    I once had a snapped biceps tendon when catching a ram on our school farm but my current claim relates to poor management failing to protect my working conditions leading me to walk out or suffer a complete breakdown.
    Thankfully, the DoE, WorkCover and Allianz are being really helpful but it is still a difficult and challenging process.
    I’ll probably call it quits in the end but for young teachers it is a difficult environment to work in and it shouldn’t take 42 years like it did me to call-out bad management and walk out.

    • It’s all ok folks, although the episode has been unpleasant I am well aware that a standard of management needs to be set and I’m in a good position to do that. Thoroughly enjoying being ‘at leisure’ for the time being and contemplating how I can best drive home the idea that schools don’t function as they are intended to without happy, healthy staff. Nothing to do with kids at all, get the staff functioning well and it all falls into place.

  17. You are in Russia.Your car is stuck in snow on the road. What do you grab ?

  18. BARNABY Joyce’s actions as water minister have been singled out and savaged in the royal commission into the Murray Darling Basin Authority, the report suggesting he ignored the law.

    The report pointed to an “ill-informed letter” from Mr Joyce to the South Australian water minister, as testament to the government’s lack of “any genuine commitment” to the goal of recovering 450 gigalitres of water for the environment.

    The Leader has contacted Mr Joyce for an interview and is awaiting a response.

    In the letter, Mr Joyce said he couldn’t see the water being recovered without “causing negative social and economic impacts to South Australian communities”.

    “I cannot foresee [the other state governments] agreeing that the additional 450GL of water can be delivered without significant social and economic detriment,” he wrote.

    The report said there was “no reliable evidence” to support Mr Joyce’s claim.


  19. I hope Grace’s fears come true and neoliberal labour ‘reform’ gets a bit of a rolling back! Took a while but NZ’s Mr Neoliberal finally admits “neoliberal policies, which he concedes he implemented, had failed.”.

    Bolger is back to revive unions

    We are not in the habit of looking to New Zealand for inspiration but before long we will be hearing all about its new wage growth-­inducing, inequality-busting work­­place relations system and why we should adopt it. ………………Sally McManus, posted the speech on Facebook, praising it and adding a comment that Ardern’s proposals “sound like industry bargaining”.

    Back in 1991, Bolger introduced the ­Employ­ment Contracts Act, which was a hugely controversial reform. It decentralised the wages system, ended compulsory union­ism and introduced individual contracts. Within four years, the union movement had lost more than half its membership as density plunged from 46 per cent to 21 per cent. Since that time, Bolger has been reviled by NZ unions as the right-wing architect of their ­humiliating downfall.

    But in the 2017 interview, Bolger caused surprise by declaring that neoliberal policies, which he concedes he implemented, had failed.

    ………….Don’t think what happens in NZ won’t happen here. Ardern is much admired by the ALP and the pressure from unions to adopt her reforms will be enormous. The blueprint is already written — all they need now is a stool pigeon to sell it.

    • The new system the group has designed will allow unions, on ­behalf of workers, to initiate bargaining with every single business (even those with just one employee) across an entire industry, provided one of two very easy tests is met. In this bargaining, all the workers, whether union members or not, “should be represented by unions and ­employers may be represented by employer organisations”.

  20. On you tube there is a replay of last night’s (our time) USA Oversight Committee interrogation of the Acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker.

    If you do not want to watch the whole thing there are highlights.

    It was like watching a public flogging. Listening to the Republican Committee members try to save this guys butt was quite amusing.

    The Dems were so very, very angry.

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